Marathoners: What's the longest distance you ran while training for your first marathon?

2

Replies

  • jchite84
    jchite84 Posts: 467 Member
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,982 Member
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...
    I don't have any personal experience (yet), but the ultra plans I have seen have long runs greater than 20 miles. However, one of the faster ladies in my trail running group did 3 20's a week with back to back 20's when training for her 100 miler.
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
    CarsonRuns wrote: »

    How many popular marathon training plans, like Higdon, call for more than 20?

    I think the up to 85mpw Pfitzinger plan has a 24. I've not done that one, though, only the 55-70mpw plan that only goes up to 22.
  • jchite84
    jchite84 Posts: 467 Member
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...
    I don't have any personal experience (yet), but the ultra plans I have seen have long runs greater than 20 miles. However, one of the faster ladies in my trail running group did 3 20's a week with back to back 20's when training for her 100 miler.
    Yeah I'm training for my first 50k and long runs go up to 26 miles. But then I've read on some forums that anything over 22 or 23 isn't really doing anything physically, but is more for psychological benefit. I can spend 5-6 hours on trails without any damaging fatigue, so I feel like I'm just going to stick to the plan!
  • JustWant2Run
    JustWant2Run Posts: 286 Member
    jchite84 wrote: »
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...
    I don't have any personal experience (yet), but the ultra plans I have seen have long runs greater than 20 miles. However, one of the faster ladies in my trail running group did 3 20's a week with back to back 20's when training for her 100 miler.
    Yeah I'm training for my first 50k and long runs go up to 26 miles. But then I've read on some forums that anything over 22 or 23 isn't really doing anything physically, but is more for psychological benefit. I can spend 5-6 hours on trails without any damaging fatigue, so I feel like I'm just going to stick to the plan!

    I'm also training for my first 50K and I've been curious about the different mentalities between training for road races vs ultras. It's like the normal training rules (% of long run vs weekly mileage, the 3 hours max long run thing, the obsession with pace and splits) don't apply. The transition has been pretty interesting so far. I'm way more laid back with my training, and happier :). I love running in the woods for 4+ hours, but I was always dreading any road runs that took me more than 2 hours. Go figure! :)

    I did a 23 miler (in 4h15min) last week and will be doing a 26 in 2 weeks (expecting at least 5 hours). So far my experience has been: slow 22mi on trails = minimal soreness and recovery time needed ; fast 20mi on road = way harder on my body. I'm not sure if it's the running surface, the slower pace or the fact that I'm fuelling with about 230 calories an hour on trail long runs.

    But yeah, all that to say that I wouldn't pay too much attention to the normal ''marathon training rules''. You aren't training to race 26.2 on the road.
  • Paul_Collyer
    Paul_Collyer Posts: 160 Member
    Think I did an 18, a 19 and a 20 last time. Was basically running 3 times a week, plus a gym visit, plus a bit of cycling. One long, one race tempo, and one interval session. Worked a treat, came in just under my target time on the day, with the help of about 11 gels along the way :smile:
  • 5512bf
    5512bf Posts: 389 Member
    litsy3 wrote: »
    CarsonRuns wrote: »

    How many popular marathon training plans, like Higdon, call for more than 20?

    I think the up to 85mpw Pfitzinger plan has a 24. I've not done that one, though, only the 55-70mpw plan that only goes up to 22.

    I've had that plan and this one kinda book marked for my summer training next year. I plan on a early spring marathon & late spring half so I'd be close to a 60 mile base starting point for summer.

    Pfitzinger plans, specifically the 85, are designed mostly for advanced runners who probably cruise through a 24 mile run in less than 3 hours, probably closer to 2.5. I'm sure some, like myself, who run a little slower but have a good base have and will do these plans. They are however a huge time commitment for a slower runner. A 4 hour marathoner would probably need to dedicate 14 hours a week to running at peak volume, plus the time to stretch, shower and do all the laundry from 10-11 runs per week would make training like a part time job. I'd bet that only a small percentage of runners run with a plan this aggressive. The base of 55-60 miles to start that plan is where the Higdon Advanced plans peak. A 60 mile beginning base would most likely have a runner exceed 2.5k - 3k miles in a year, which is probably more than 99% of marathoners would ever log.


  • jessspurr
    jessspurr Posts: 258 Member
    Another vote for 20 miles is enough
  • sarahc001
    sarahc001 Posts: 477 Member
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...
    I don't have any personal experience (yet), but the ultra plans I have seen have long runs greater than 20 miles. However, one of the faster ladies in my trail running group did 3 20's a week with back to back 20's when training for her 100 miler.

    Relentless Forward Progress has training plans from 50k up to 100mi on 50-70mpw.
  • aarar
    aarar Posts: 684 Member
    You don't need to do more than 20 miles before a marathon. At the moment I'm training for a 50 miler and I'm not going too much farther than that on any single run (I'm just running a lot of them).
  • Samstan101
    Samstan101 Posts: 699 Member
    Following a loose plan I did three 20 mile road runs before I did my first marathon earlier this year, but then kind of on a whim I did a 33 mile ultra a few weeks before! I have my next marathon in a couple of weeks and my training has been interrupted by injury but I did a multi terrain hilly 16 miler yesterday which will be my last long run before it, but I'm kind of doing this marathon as a 'time on my feet/ miles in my legs' training for the next marathon towards the end of October. But I'm also eyeing up my first 50 miler a couple of weeks before that. So really, probably best to ignore me LOL
  • MountainMaggie
    MountainMaggie Posts: 104 Member
    Thanks for all your advice! With "rest" weeks every 3rd week, I should be able to hit 20 by late this month, and then can play with that distance, and add some more (22, or 24 if I feel up to it) with plenty of time to recover, all the way through October (The race is Nov 8th). I really would feel better getting comfy with at 20 miles rather than continually upping my long runs. And I agree with all of you about the longer midweek runs and overall weekly mileage. I PRed my last half marathon by 20 minutes and it felt easy, and I was not sore after, and it's all due to more days per week and more mileage per week, I believe.

    Not to mention, my time ALWAYS improves drastically per every 10 degree temperature drop, so whatever my 20 mile pace is in September, it will be better in November. I would like to finish in 4:30, but honestly, my goal is to finish period, and not feel like I need an ambulance after. I need to victory dance across the finish.
  • MountainMaggie
    MountainMaggie Posts: 104 Member
    Also, any of you feel free to add me if you want more LDR friends.
  • vcphil
    vcphil Posts: 79 Member
    19.

    I personally don't find the need to even go 20. However, I run around 4 marathons a year. Multiple 14-18 milers seems to be my golden ticket.
  • Stoshew71
    Stoshew71 Posts: 6,553 Member
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...

    I haven't trained for an ultra. However, most of what I read depends on higher weekly mileage and back to back long runs to prepare you for ultra distance. So maybe you will do an 18-20 miler on Saturday and do another one on Sunday.

  • taeliesyn
    taeliesyn Posts: 1,116 Member
    Stoshew71 wrote: »
    jchite84 wrote: »
    How does the training mileage max port over to ultras? If anybody has any input on that...

    I haven't trained for an ultra. However, most of what I read depends on higher weekly mileage and back to back long runs to prepare you for ultra distance. So maybe you will do an 18-20 miler on Saturday and do another one on Sunday.
    Depends on the Ultra too. I know several people that compete in the 100milers & 24hr races, and they will actually do 4 or 5 hour runs almost weekly, but then most of the other runs they do, may only be up to 60 or 90minutes.
  • MobyCarp
    MobyCarp Posts: 2,927 Member
    I ran 22 before my first marathon, because the local program went up to 22. I also had 2 runs of 20, and one of 21. The 22 was psychologically important because the 21 was a planned 22 where I had a gut bomb and had to abort the run late, after feeling great at 20.

    All through the actual marathon, there was that nagging doubt that I could actually run 26.2 miles . . . until I crossed the finish line. Next time, there will be no doubt that I can run the distance.

    Based on my experience of stretching the long run but not stretching the weekly volume all that much (peaked at 41 miles per week), I think the folks who say total volume is important are on to something. As I look toward my next marathon, my current focus is on building a better base of weekly mileage more than on building the longest long run. I know I can run 22 miles at an average pace of 8:13 in nice weather and recover well enough to do another long run the next week. I don't know whether I can run 60 miles in a week and still feel good enough to do speed work. That's something to work on.
  • congruns
    congruns Posts: 127 Member
    I was in a small race that had a marathon option, but I wasn't ready to call it my first marathon so I stopped at 40K so 2K short. I was never that anxious to get the last 2K in and was happy with a 40K time. Every time I hear about training plans that max out at 20 miles, I always think to myself that must be why people star the toughest part of the marathon is the last 10K. If that's what most people do, then I guess is enough.
  • STrooper
    STrooper Posts: 659 Member
    I used Galloway's plan for my first one. He has a two week jump from 14 to 17 miles. Once you get to 17 miles, he has you increase by three miles every third week. So there was a 17, 20, 23, and 26 (I did somewhat more than 26) and then the taper. But Galloway will tell you that the 26 miler serves two purposes. First, it shows that you can do it at the slow training pace. Second, his data suggests that training out to that distance is a safeguard against "the wall" assuming you don't run stupid in the first part of the race.
  • CarsonRuns
    CarsonRuns Posts: 3,039 Member
    MobyCarp wrote: »
    I know I can run 22 miles at an average pace of 8:13 in nice weather and recover well enough to do another long run the next week. I don't know whether I can run 60 miles in a week and still feel good enough to do speed work. That's something to work on.

    It's important that you don't try to build volume and intensity at the same time. If your speed work is 10% of your weekly mileage and you working on increasing the volume, it's a good idea to keep that speedwork at whatever mileage 10% equates to instead of keeping it at the same percentage.